Rind, B. (1998). Biased Use of Cross-Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Male Homosexuality in Human Sexuality Textbooks. The Journal of Sex Research 35:4, pp. 397-407.
This study set about to measure whether 18 current human sexuality textbooks followed the same Masters, Johnson and Kolodny error (i.e., biased use of cross-cultural perspectives). First, there is a brief review of male homosexuality in various cultures. The review includes transgenerational (i.e., man-boy sex), transgenderal, or "egalitarian." Transgenderal points to certain practices in which one man takes a socially scripted passive role as an adult (though they begin having sex with men when they are pretty young, and so they could have also been used for information on trangenerational sex). "Egalitarian" points to the modern man-man sex pattern. Man-boy sex represents the majority of all male homosexuality (in the review, and in real life, it seems).
First, I'll mention some of the statistics, and later on I'll mention an illustrative example.
The main examples (mentioned in two or more textbooks) of cross-cultural and historical homosexuality were:
* Mb = Man-boy,
Societies mentioned in one chapter were: Homosexuality chapter: Arabs, Azande, Kimam, Sumatra, Thailand (transgenerational); Mohave, Polynesia, xaniths (transgenderal) Pedophilia chapter: Africa, Arabs, Egypt, Muslim India, Japan, Turkey (trangenerational) Other chapters: Arabs, Aranda, Etoro, Islamic societies (trangenerational, Hindu India, Mayans (transgenderal)
The data above gives you an overview of what was used and where, but the analysis of whether its use was biased took yet another step. Judges working with the study author coded all of the relevant passages in the book. They rated the appropriateness of each passage's use on a scale from 0 to 2. There were three separate tests.
One tested whether the use of transgenerational examples in homosexuality chapters (see Homo above) were biased. The mean rating was 0.28, which was statistically significantly below 1 (1 is the mean of the scale from 0 to 2). To figure out whether this was due to randomness, there is a statistical test (the one-sided "t-test" for you closet statisticians).
The study assumes you know statistics, so for those that don't, the test shows that the mean rating is way below the region in which the difference might have been random. In other words, the authors misused transgenerational examples in their chapters on homosexuality. The same goes for their use of transgenerational examples in chapters fitting the "Other" category.
Other biases tested for were: inappropriate descriptions of transgenerational examples within homosexuality chapters; inappropriate labeling (i.e., calling it homosexuality in one chapter but calling it pedophilia in another). Apparently at least one textbook blatantly said that man-man homosexuality was accepted in Ancient Greece and Rome, contrary to books by Cantarella (Bisexuality in the Ancient World) and by Percy (Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece) which say that such relations were scorned. However, among the 17 textbooks with a chapter on homosexuality, descriptions of transgenerational examples were not misused on the whole. They were mislabeled, with a rating of inappropriateness well below the acceptance region for randomness.
The study author then added the biases for these tests (so that the biases could range from 0 to 6). Two of the three tests were not independent (they were "conceptually correlated")-a misuse of an example in one chapter is likely to be related to its use in another chapter. This was statistically corrected for.
The overall bias was found by seeing if the mean of the total bias was significantly different from 3 (3 is the mean between 0 and 6). For homosexuality chapters, the bias was 1.80, which was too far below 3 to be due to randomness. The mean bias in the 18 other chapters was also too far below 3 to be due to randomness.
There was yet another test of bias, this time looking at how transgenderal examples are neglected in homosexuality chapters. The author notes that even though lots of examples of transgenderal homosexuality exist, the bias was very strong.
Enough of the statistics. Now, on to an illustrative example. Hehehe... this is a duzee.
Janet Shibley Hyde and J. DeLamater, in their textbook, quoted an anthropologist observing Melanesian homosexuality: "When a boy is eleven or twelve years years old, he is engaged in homosexual intercourse with a healthy older man chosen by his father..." Then, Hyde and DeLamater make a flowery comment: "[it] is fortunate that anthropologists were able to make their observations over the last several decades to document these interesting and meaningful practices before they disappear." In a later chapter discussing man-boy sex today, they switch to the terms "child sexual abuse" and "victim." Seems pretty two-faced to me. Hyde and DeLamater are on the editorial peer-review board of the Journal of Sex Research, to which this article was submitted! Hmhmhmhm. I can see their faces!
A funnier illustration: Zgourides, in his textbook, uses Siwan (of Africa) and Keraki (of New Guinea) examples of anal sex to argue that disgust at anal sex is a Western phenomenon. To quote Rind, "instead, his [Zgourides'] discussion was now on homosexual male pedophiles who "victimize" boys usually through anal intercourse, wherein the 'harmful effects . . . on the victim are many'..."
Rind makes it clear that the use of cross-cultural examples is to increase objectivity when understanding sexual phenomenon. Obviously, the textbook writers have failed at this. Their motives are becoming more clear, I think that they have made their mind up that man-boy sex is bad, and they would like others to believe the same.
[Doc. List E5]